Category Archives: Students

Annual High School STEM Day Brings 300 Students to ECU

Nearly 300 high school juniors from across eastern North Carolina recently visited East Carolina University (ECU) to experience and learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities offered at the University. ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology, the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Education, including the STEM Center for Education, sponsored the event and provided more than 60 volunteers.

Students rotated through three of 15 hands-on, engaging sessions that were taught by current ECU faculty and students. Departments represented included engineering, physics, technology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, construction management, computer science, geology, geography, atmospheric science, math and science education.

Some of the hands-on learning sessions included:

  • Learning about and how to extract DNA
  • Determining the types of clays that might be addressed on a construction site
  • Exploring how high-resolution 3D models are captured using a simulation of unmanned aircraft systems, and how to analyze and visualize environmental change
  • Using cryptography to send secure messages and how it is used in the military for confidential communication and secure online banking, shopping and other applications
Area high school juniors recently visited ECU for the sixth annual High School Stem Day. Fifteen hands-on sessions were scheduled that represented a wide variety of education opportunities available at the University. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Area high school juniors recently visited ECU for the sixth annual High School Stem Day. Fifteen hands-on sessions were scheduled that represented a wide variety of education opportunities available at the University. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

This annual event was the second STEM-related event held at ECU in as many weeks. Earlier, more than 140 area Girl Scouts participated in TechnoQuest, which also was designed to introduce STEM to the participants.

Margaret Turner, director of marketing and outreach for ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology, helped organize both events and also helped organize the five former high school STEM Days. Over the years, she’s noticed a very obvious increase in students interested in STEM. Not only does STEM Day introduce these students to exciting and interesting careers, Turner enjoys introducing these students to a university that can help them capture their future, STEM-related degrees.

“I see the excitement in the students faces every time they step on campus and into the sessions,” said Turner. “I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to let them know that if they do pursue a STEM-related career, ECU is a great choice to get them started.

Students Managing Students

Helping Turner organize this year’s event were three college students pursuing their own STEM-related degrees in engineering. Juniors Jessica Campos, Meagan Smith, and Malik Simon provided Turner with project management support. As part of a class assignment in an engineering project management course, they helped Turner with everything from volunteer training, the session schedule, transportation and communication.

“STEM day was an effective way to show how much detail goes into planning an event,” said Smith. “There were months of meetings that involved brainstorming on how to improve the planning process and ways to improve how the day would flow.”

Part of that brainstorming saw the introduction of social media to help with communication between all volunteers. The application that was used is called GroupMe.

Juniors Meagan Smith (left), Jessica Campos (right) and Malik Simon (not pictured) provided project management support for High School STEM Day. This marked the first time students played a role in managing the event.

Juniors Meagan Smith (left), Jessica Campos (right) and Malik Simon (not pictured) provided project management support for High School STEM Day. This marked the first time students played a role in managing the event.

“We had volunteers outside Wright circle waiting for high schools to drop off their students, and with this app, our volunteers were able to tell us what schools were here, where to meet them, the final number of students they brought and more,” said Campos. “Throughout the day we were able to communicate any issues that arose using GroupMe, and with everyone’s input, we were able to resolve those issues.”

“Throughout the day we were able to communicate any issues that arose using GroupMe, and with everyone’s input, we were able to resolve those issues.”

“Jessica, Meagan and Malik did a wonderful job in helping make sure we had another successful STEM day,” added Turner. “I think they learned a great deal about the many logistics involved in organizing such a large event. They were also proud to see the event happen and go smoothly and realize they had a large part in planning it.”

This was the first time college students helped with managing the event.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication 

Special education major receives Bassman Honors Thesis Award

Sarah Bonin, an East Carolina University College of Education student majoring in special education from Cary, has received the 2016-2017 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award.

Sarah Bonin received a 2016-2017 Thesis Award. (contributed photo)

Sarah Bonin received a 2016-2017 Thesis Award. (contributed photo)

One student is selected each year for the outstanding senior Honors College thesis or project and a $500 award. Bonin created a reading and math curriculum for students in third through fifth grades, and is believed to be the first education student to win the award, said Dr. Guili Zhang, professor and interim chair of the Department of Special Education, Foundations and Research.

“Your personal achievements and accomplishments exemplify the very best of the Honors College and ECU,” said Bryna Coonin, coordinator of the award, in an email announcing Bonin’s selection.

Bonin was nominated by Dr. Melissa Hudson, her senior project mentor, in collaboration with Dr. Linda Patriarca, who has been Bonin’s instructor and internship supervisor this year. Faculty member Debbie Metcalf also provided a support letter.

Bonin will be recognized at the Honors College departmental graduation ceremony on May 3 at Rock Springs Center in Greenville. Bonin will be moving to Durham to begin her career as a kindergarten through fifth grade resource teacher at Glenn Elementary School in the Durham Public Schools system.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity

Scholarship celebration honors donors, recipients

The East Carolina University College of Allied Health Sciences celebrated its 65 scholarship recipients and their donors during a recent ceremony at Rock Springs Center.

During the event the college awarded more than $100,000 in merit and need-based scholarships ranging from $500 to $9,000 each.

The College of Allied Health Sciences awarded more than $100,000 in scholarship funds to students at the April 4 Scholarship Celebration at Rock Springs Center. (Contributed photo)

The College of Allied Health Sciences awarded more than $100,000 in scholarship funds to students at the April 4 Scholarship Celebration at Rock Springs Center. (Contributed photo)

 

“These are students who all share a very simple, direct and important life goal: they want to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Dean Robert Orlikoff during the April 4 celebration. “Our mission at ECU is to promote student success, first and foremost. Without student success, we cannot attain success in the other aspects of our mission, and those are community outreach and regional transformation.”

Dr. Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for health sciences, acknowledged the importance of the scholarships, many of which were established with private funds to honor or memorialize influential allied health educators and professionals and to support the academic pursuits of future professionals in the field.

“There’s nothing we do at this institution more important than to recognize and celebrate our scholarship recipients and recognize and celebrate the generous individuals who make these scholarships possible,” Horns said.

To the students in attendance Horns said, “I know that these scholarships make it possible for you to achieve your ambition and have your dreams come to fruition. We can’t tell you how proud we are of you and how high our expectations are of you when you leave us.”

ECU’s College of Allied Health Sciences is the largest college of allied health in North Carolina with more than 1,250 students across nine programs.

For more information, visit ECU’s scholarships website at www.ecu.edu/universityscholarships.

 

-by Natalie Sayewich, University Communication

Raising awareness about infant mortality

On April 8, approximately 75 East Carolina University students participated in Preconception Peer Educator (PPE) program training to raise awareness among college students about infant mortality and its causes.

The Preconception Educating Pirates (PEP) squad took part in the PPE training which uses a national peer education curriculum to equip college students with targeted health messages to share on campuses and in their communities. PPE works with the Office of Minority Health to eliminate health disparities by generating infant mortality awareness and prevention using preconception and inter-conception health messages.

The training coincided with National Public Health Week (April 3-9) and the 100th anniversary of the Pitt County Health Department. Data shows that Pitt County ranks 10th out of the state’s 100 counties for infant mortality.

ECU’s Department of Health Education and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance sponsored the event. For more information, visit https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=10239&lvl=3&lvlID=9

Students gathered for a group photo after the training program. (contributed photo)

Students gathered for a group photo after the training program.
(contributed photo)

 

-by Crystal Baity 

Graduate student receives national kinesiology award

Daniel Kuhman is the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award Winner. (contributed photo)

Daniel Kuhman is the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award Winner. (contributed photo)

East Carolina University graduate student Daniel Kuhman has received the 2017 American Kinesiology Association National Master’s Scholar Award.

Kuhman is a graduate assistant in ECU’s Biomechanics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance. He will graduate on May 6 from ECU. He received his bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from the University of Memphis in 2015.

“This student was selected from all of the local American Kinesiology Association master’s scholars nationwide as the master’s student with the most distinguished academic and leadership record,” said Dr. Christopher M. Hearon, chair of the AKA awards committee, in an email announcing the award. “This is the fourth year that AKA has recognized the top master’s kinesiology student in the nation with this award.”

For more information, go to http://www.americankinesiology.org/scholar-awards

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

School of Art and Design to host 2017 MFA thesis exhibition

The East Carolina University School of Art and Design will present the 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition beginning April 21 through May 12 in the Wellington B. Gray Gallery in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. The artists will be honored with a reception in the gallery on Friday, May 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks.

Graduate student artwork by Greg Banks

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The work of seven artists graduating from the ECU master of fine arts program will be exhibited. They are Greg Banks, Brett Beasley, Addison Brown, Alex Ingle, Barbara McFadyen, Abir Mohsen and Hosanna Rubio.

The exhibition includes ceramics, metal design and photography.

The gallery is located off 5th Street near the intersection with Jarvis Street in Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery is closed for university holidays. Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Department of Disability Support Services at least two weeks prior to the event at 252-737-1016. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/soad/graygallery/index.cfm.

 

-by Harley Dartt, University Communication

Brody Scholars hold health fair to benefit community

East Carolina University medical students will hold a community health fair Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center at 1100 Ward St. in Greenville.

The event will include multiple booths geared toward various aspects of health for both children and adults. It is a collaboration among the Brody School of Medicine’s Brody Scholars and ECU dental, nursing and physician assistant students. The health fair is free and open to the public.

“The Brody Scholars had a new vision this year for our service project. We decided to do a health fair, because we want to serve our local community of Greenville,” said fourth-year medical student and Brody Scholar Mia Marshall.

Amanda Saad (left) and Mia Marshall are two of the Brody Scholars who helped organize the health fair. (contributed photo)

Amanda Saad (left) and Mia Marshall are two of the Brody Scholars who helped organize the health fair. (contributed photo)

Topics will range from childhood obesity to exercise and nutrition. Screenings will be provided for blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and oral health. Bike helmet safety will also be demonstrated, with 15 bike helmets to be raffled.

“We want to bring awareness to both adults and children and educate the general public in a way that is beneficial and sustainable,” Marshall said.

The health fair will be held in conjunction with the center’s 10th annual IGCC Day, a community block party celebrating a decade of service in the west Greenville and surrounding Pitt County areas with food, music, entertainment, giveaways, vendors, workshops and more.

The Brody Scholars program honors J. S. “Sammy” Brody, who, along with his brother Leo, were among the earliest supporters of medical education in eastern North Carolina The Brody Scholar award, valued at approximately $112,000, is the most prestigious scholarship available at the Brody School of Medicine. It includes four years of medical school tuition, living expenses and the opportunity for recipients to design their own summer enrichment programs that can include travel abroad. The award also supports community service projects recipients may undertake while in medical school. About 70 percent of Brody Scholars remain in North Carolina to practice, and the majority of those stay in eastern North Carolina.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

Ron Clark to speak at 3rd annual Corporate and Leadership Awards

East Carolina University alumnus Ron Clark, ’94, will be the featured speaker for the third annual Corporate and Leadership Awards banquet hosted by the ECU Division of Student Affairs at 6 p.m. April 22 at the Greenville Hilton.

Clark, a New York Times bestselling author, the subject of the movie, “The Ron Clark Story,” and Disney’s American Teacher of the Year, started working with students in Aurora before teaching in New York City and then founding the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to educating fifth- to eighth-grade students, the internationally acclaimed school serves as a professional development site for teachers. To date, more than 40,000 educators have visited the Ron Clark Academy to be trained by Clark and his award-winning staff.

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

ECU alumnus Ron Clark, ’94. (contributed photo)

The recipients of the 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards will be recognized at the banquet. These alumni under the age of 40 have excelled after graduating from ECU and are now using their experience to make an impact in their respective professions, local communities and the world.

This year’s honorees represent 11 different states and one award winner will travel from Ontario, Canada to attend. Many are North Carolina residents with the remaining living across the country – from California to New York and Florida.

Awards also will be presented to corporate partners who have made positive impacts for ECU and its students, as well as individuals who serve as advocates for student affairs.

For tickets or information, call Zack Hawkins in student affairs at 252-737-4970 or email hawkinsz@ecu.edu.

 

2017 40 Under 40 Leadership Awards Honorees

Arts & Humanities

Trevor James Avery – Jacksonville

Tyler A. Griffin – Miami, Florida

Jennifer Parks Rezeli – Greenville

Augustus D. Willis IV – Raleigh

Jeremy Woodard – New York, New York

 

Business

Rasheca Barrow – Houston, Texas

Dr. Charlie Brown – Washington

Cristen A. Jones – Charleston, South Carolina

Justin Lucas – Chicago, Illinois

Victor R. Moore Jr. – Greenville

Bradley Pearce – Davidson

Scott Poag – Augusta, Georgia

Jamie Lynn Sigler – San Diego, California

Heather Waters – Greenville

 

Health & Wellness

Steven Carmichael – Charlotte

Dr. Abiola Fajobi – Ontario, Canada

Lex Gillette – Chula Vista, California

Dr. Glenn Harvin – Greenville

Natasha C. Holley – Ahoskie

Dr. Shondell Jones – Winterville

Dr. Shannon Baker Powell – Grimesland

Dr. Jessica Tomalusa – Wake Forest

 

Public Service

Melissa Adamson – Greenville

Honorable April M. Smith – Fayetteville

Captain Christine Guthrie – Melbourne, Florida

Major Derri G. Stormer – Winston-Salem

Brock Letchworth – Greenville

Mindy Ann Walker – Raleigh

Aleshia Hunt – Greenville

Mona Lesane Townes – Knightdale

Captain Sheontee Frank – Summerville, South Carolina

 

Research & Education

April Paul Baer – Frostburg, Maryland

Dr. Carenado Davis – Winterville

Dr. Jasmine Graham – Indianapolis, Indiana

Gregory Hedgepeth – Boca Raton, Florida

Angela McCall Hill – Coats

Leshaun T. Jenkins – Tarboro

Dr. Steve M. Lassiter, Jr. – Greenville

Dr. Keeley J. Pratt – Columbus, Ohio

Recardo Tucker – Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

-by Jules Norwood

Patriot Run promises a sloppy, fun time

Cadets from East Carolina University’s Army ROTC Pirate Battalion will host the ninth annual Patriot Run at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 1 on the west research campus.

The run through lots of mud and obstacles will benefit Homes for Our Troops and Eagle Rock Camp, which reconnects servicemen and women with their families and communities after deployments or long periods away.

(contributed photo)

(contributed photo)

“We want to be a part of our community and strive to do our best to support it,” said Cadet Eric Sengmany, one of the organizers of the 5k mud run. “The Patriot Run provides individuals with a fun and challenging event, but also gives them an awareness of veterans and veteran organizations in our community.”

The research campus is at 1157 VOA Site C Road west of Greenville. The first heat will begin at 9 a.m. The race is for individuals or teams. There will also be a 1-mile fun run. Preregistration is available at http://patriotrun.com or at the site the morning of the race. The first 200 registered runners will receive a T-shirt, and all racers will get a finishers coin.

“Putting together this race is a good representation of how important our veterans and service members are to us. It is an honor to be a part of a program that strives to recognize those who have served before us and that prepares us to be the best leaders for our soldiers,” Sengmany said.

More information about ECU’s Army ROTC program is at http://www.ecu.edu/arotc.

 

-by Rich Klindworth

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